Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Successful Suicide By Cop is Not the Cop's Fault

Two days ago a New York City man called 911 and told the dispatcher "I want you to call the cops ‘cause I’m ready to kill. … I’m ready to kill some cops right now." Not surprisingly, the cops came. Thankfully they all went home.

However, the knife-wielding man who made the threat was killed after verbal commands and the use of a Taser failed to stop his threatening advances. All indications point to proper procedure being followed. Nonetheless, within hours, a media-seeking city councilman immediately started criticizing the responding officers and blaming them for the man's death. The councilman stated further: "No one...would kill a cop when all they had was a 4-inch knife."

He couldn't have been more wrong.

Officer Gary Coe
The first of 400 police officers to have been fatally stabbed in the line of duty nationwide was Watchman Christian Luswanger of the New York City Watch - the original NYPD! In addition to Watchman Luswanger, 23 other NYPD officers have been fatally stabbed in the line of duty including Officer Gary Coe, who was stabbed five times, with none other than a "four-inch utility knife," in 1989.

Since the earliest days of American law enforcement, edged weapons have posed a real and deadly threat to officers patrolling our streets and supervising inmates in our prisons. To dismiss a "4-inch knife" as a non-threat and to criticize officers for defending themselves from getting stabbed is extremely naive.

I am extremely thankful that Sunday's incident didn't add any more names of stabbing victims to the NYPD Memorial Wall at Battery Park.

Watchman Christian Luswanger Thursday, December 25, 1806
New York City Watch, NY
Watchman Lewis L. Leuba Wednesday, April 13, 1836
New York City Watch, NY
Watchman Kim Hudson Sunday, August 28, 1836
New York City Watch, NY
Sergeant Michael Foster Monday, August 4, 1851
New York Municipal Police Force, NY
Patrolman David Gourley Sunday, November 5, 1854
New York Municipal Police Force, NY
Patrolman Stephen P. Hardenbrook Wednesday, April 15, 1857
New York Municipal Police Force, NY 3 years
Patrolman David Martin Tuesday, August 6, 1861
New York Metropolitan Police Force, NY
Patrolman Robert S. McChesney Saturday, October 19, 1867
New York Metropolitan Police Force, NY 2 months
Patrolman Charles Thompson Sunday, December 1, 1867
New York Metropolitan Police Force, NY
Sergeant James McGiven Monday, July 24, 1876
New York Municipal Police Department, NY
Patrolman James North Friday, August 21, 1885
New York Municipal Police Department, NY
Patrolman John J. Sherman Tuesday, September 1, 1891
New York Police Department, NY 5 years
Patrolman Robert J. Thorpe Monday, August 13, 1900
New York City Police Department, NY
Patrolman Charles L. Horn Monday, October 8, 1900
New York City Police Department, NY 5 years
Sergeant Joseph H. McNierney Friday, October 3, 1913
New York City Police Department, NY 18 years
Patrolman Leroy J. Sheares Monday, April 20, 1936
New York City Police Department, NY 3 years
Sergeant Edward J. Johnson Jr. Friday, January 8, 1960
New York City Police Department, NY 11 years
Patrolman Anthony F. Campisi Friday, November 4, 1966
New York City Police Department, NY
Patrolman Lawrence Stefane Thursday, May 28, 1970
New York City Police Department, NY 3 years
Probationary Patrolman Patrick M. Canavan Monday, September 7, 1970
New York City Police Department, NY 2 months
Patrolman Michael W. Paolillo Wednesday, September 23, 1970
New York City Police Department, NY
Patrolman Robert L. Denton Saturday, July 24, 1971
New York City Police Department, NY 2 years
Police Officer Gary C. Coe Saturday, November 11, 1989
New York City Police Department, NY 4 years
Detective Jaime Betancourt Sunday, March 31, 2002
New York City Police Department, NY 9 years

9 comments:

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  2. Thank you for informing others of the very real threat of knives and other potentially deadly weapons our Officers face daily. As the wife of a 22 year veteran Officer/Sergeant, it is heart-breaking to see how the media portrays Officers out there protecting THEM and everyone else. If the suspect had been holding only a "4 inch knife" to the council members throat, you'd better believe he would be all for taking out the suspect! As the holidays approach and people are home with their families, warm and cozy, I hope they take a moment to be thankful that men and women are out on the streets, away from their families, keeping THEM safe. And maybe even think of the families of those Officers, who are without their loved ones, yet again through the holidays, because they are out keeping the streets safe.

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  3. How many people were killed by a few determined individuals armed with box cutters on 9/11 Mr. Coucilman? They are even less than 4 inches in length.

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  4. I hate when people run off the mouth like this idiot councilman. He needs to resign.

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  5. This is one of those situations where one has to consider the SOURCE....

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  6. It goes with the territory. When Gov. David Patterson was a representative. He backed a move to require officers to shoot for the arm or leg rather than center of mass. There are a lot of un-educated politicians who really only want to get in front of a camera and get a vote. Sad.

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  7. New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is an idiot to stand next to the deceased mother and accuse cops of wrongdoing when he, himself, was accused of forcibly touching a female staffer, and barked about people making hurtful accusations that could tarnish reputations. Here is a link to the audio of the 911 call: http://www.nydailynews.com/video/index.html?eCode=1haDJ5Ohij8jJOnRkV5qeTMgTSGL7luj&dCode=BnbnlxMToQC2V8uq8lJ9otUE8SRX7kJt

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  8. People like the councilman need to be put in a room with someone who just wants to kill. Give that perosn a 4" knife and lets see what happens. My guess, after the first one or two are killed, the others see the horrific sight of gaping flesh and blood, pretty sure they will call the police and whatever it takes to stop the person....they will be thankful. Until they talk to the media.............disgraceful!!!!

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  9. God bless all police officers worldwide.

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